A vehicle’s tyre burst isn’t an act of God, but rather an act of carelessness due in part to the driver, the Bombay High Court in the case of New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Mrunal Patwardhan & Ors recently declared while ordering an insurance company to pay compensation to the family of a deceased victim in an auto accident.
New India Insurance Co., argued that the guilty driver was not culpable as the tyre burst that triggered the incident was an act of God. Single-judge Justice SG Dige disagreed, arguing that tyre bursts could be caused by driving at high speeds or by underinflated or overinflated tyres, and it is the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner or driver to examine the tyre state before the trip.
The insurance company appealed to the High Court after the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) in Pune granted each of the plaintiffs $2,25,000. The corporation contended that the victim’s salary, as calculated by the MACT, was excessive and that numerous bhattas, which cannot be regarded as part of the salary, were taken into account in the calculation. The plaintiffs, who were the victim’s dependents, pointed out that no witnesses had been questioned to prove the appellant’s defence.
The Court rejected the firm’s case since the pay component mentioned by the company comprised numerous deductions.